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Selling Our Children: Thinking Outside of the Box (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2004)

…The cold cereal flows with sophisticated 3D animated effects, while the announcer proclaims the multi-colored shapes to be “a part of this good breakfast.” The quick flash of the oversized bowl filled with the star product, sitting prominently in the center of the shot, will likely distract even the sharpest…

Getting Fat on Television (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2004)

…San Francisco Bay Area parents don’t want soft drink vending machines in their schools. Nor do they like the idea of having advertisements promoting food and beverages to their children in their educational environments. They are also likely to have their kids involved in organized sports on an annual basis.

Deciding If Your Children Should See The Passion of the Christ (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2004)

…Countless times I’ve attended film screenings of movies I wouldn’t choose to see for myself, let alone my children. Yet just as often, after finding my seat, the empty chair beside me will be occupied by a child—accompanied by an adult whom I assume is their father or…

Reading Up on Teen Culture—YM and Seventeen (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…Now that we’re up to date with a couple of the teen magazines aimed at the youngest adolescent audiences, it’s time to look at the two kingpins of this genre: YM and Seventeen.

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…My last column covered magazines aimed at teen audiences and discussed some of the general themes I found within the covers of four popular teen magazines.    This week we’re looking deep inside two of those magazines that market to the youngest teens—and likely even preadolescents.

Reading Up on Teen Culture—J-14 and Teen People (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…Teen magazines have been around since the dark ages predating my teen years. You should be able to get a rough grasp on my age if I tell you that the faces of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, and Leif Garrett were usually plastered on the front pages during my adolescence.

Teen Pregnancy Is Down, But Is Morality Up? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…A December 23, 2003 New York Times headline declaring “More Teenagers Say No To Sex” is certainly good news, as is the accompanying article explaining how teen births have dropped to historic lows—as much as 40% over the past decade in the case of African-American youth.

Media Literacy – Who’s Really Laughing? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2004)

…We all have weaknesses, right? As a proponent of family media, there are times when I know I’m wading in muddy waters—especially with my friends Fred and Barney.

Media Literacy – Spinning the Facts (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2003)

…You may have noticed an article in your newspaper or news story on television over the past week touting a study suggesting teens can learn important sexual education lessons from popular entertainment television shows like (keep an open mind)… Friends.

Sex-Ed With Friend (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2003)

…You may have noticed a short article in your newspaper touting a study suggesting teens can learn important sexual education lessons from popular television sitcoms like (keep an open mind)… Friends.

Media Literacy Introduction (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2003)

…Parents worried about the content of media, be it television, movies or music, may find their first reaction to be “turn off,” “tune out,” or (as a friend of mine did upon finding an objectionable CD in his son’s possession) break it into a thousand pieces.

Kids Who Literally Drool Over Television (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2003)

…I’m guilty! The moment a video called Babysongs went into our VCR, my life became so serene. It was the late 1980’s and we were the new parents of a wonderful young boy. Grandma, who could find the most unusual things in mail order catalogues, gave us a videocassette with…

Family Technology—MAX Control for the Information Highway (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2003)

…Has it ever happened to you? You’re innocently looking up something on the Internet, and the next thing you know you are faced with a page of pornographic sex goddesses emblazoned across your screen. To make matters worse, you try and close the page, which has taken over your entire…

Ratings versus Censorship (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2003)

…During a radio talk show, I was pitted against Mr. Jeremiah Gutman, the co-chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship. Involved for decades with First Amendment cases and other issues of individual rights, this New York lawyer has had a hand in many pivotal points of legal decisions regarding freedom…

The Heartland Film Festival (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2003)

…Where “Truly Moving Pictures” Reign   If you’ve ever considered going to a film festival, but have been worried you may find material that stretches the envelope beyond your comfort zone, - Heartland may be a great one to check out.

Popularizing Pornography (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2003)

…Two young twenty-something guys write an entertainment editorial in our local newspaper. A couple of weeks ago, their column happily trumpeted the headline “Porn Star Ball Makes Stop At City Club.”

File Swapping: Dangers You May Not Know About (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…If you have teens and an Internet connection in your home, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of strange words such as Gnutella, KaZaA, Morpheus, Grokster and the like. These are monikers given to software programs that allow “peer-to-peer” file sharing. In English, that means the ability to swap files…

U of Michigan Confirms: Sex and Violence Don’t Sell (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…I recently covered a sexually charged television advertising campaign’s failure to sell beer. Shortly after filing the story, I discovered a recently released study from the University of Michigan that may provide more reasons than ever before for advertisers to avoid violent and sexual television content.

If Sex Can’t Sell Beer, Why Is TV Still Hooked On It? (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…In 2003, Miller Brewing began a series of ads that got far more response than they expected. Titled “Cat Fight,” the spots featured a couple of impossibly breasted women ripping each other’s clothes off as they fought over conflicting positive traits of Miller Lite.

Is Disney Sailing Into Rough Waters? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jul 2003)

…Disney’s theatrical release, Pirates of the Caribbean, has everything you would expect: Swashbuckling adventure, sword fights, a villain, and a fair maiden. But this movie has made Disney history because of something you wouldn’t suspect: it’s the studio’s first PG-13 release.

Chocolate Covered Movies (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2003)

…With Universal Studios’ The Hulk recently unleashed on theater screens, parents are dealing with the mixture of marketing and mayhem left in the wake of his path of fictional destruction. From minivans to Slurpees, it appears Marvel Comics and Universal Studios have left no licensing stone unturned.

Thanks To The FCC, Your Kids Need To Be Even Smarter (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2003)

…It’s a clichéd phrase: Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. But if we really believe that, we need to teach them some important media skills today – thanks to changes put forth by the FCC.

Television Addiction – Just Say “Off” (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…I was trained at a young age to worship television. It was the center of our home, akin to a shrine. From within the wooden box, a powerful force seemed to pull our small family of three toward it. Our day didn’t begin before the set was turned on, and…

Video Games – Dangers Are More Complex (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…An 18-year-old relates the moment when he met the girl he currently dates…    “It happened quite as chance, we happened just to see each other near the POD lift in Gfay, and started talking. Eventually things became more involved…”1

The Reality Plague Hits Theaters (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…Today I sat through 90 minutes of reality entertainment that left me convinced there are far too many dollars in the pockets of people who have nothing to do, because unlike Reality TV The Real Cancun is a Reality movie.

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